As promised in the Warm Up, Warm Up? post, we deliver to Power Athlete Nation the first of a 4 part warm up series. This movement demo covers “the home position” of the Dead Bug.
Ethan is a Power Athlete lackey and the official #BALBOAJACKED custodial specialist. While on his way to clean up a mess, I get him into “the home position” of the Dead Bug and give you an extremely effective method to develop the ability to mobilize your trunk while actively stretching your hamstrings. He steals the show here casually knocking out a 2 minute dead bug.
How do you get better at Dead Bugs? Do more Dead Bugs.
The primary thing to focus on as you work on these is trunk position. You need to keep your “spine painted on the ground.” If your:
- low back starts to come off the ground
- ribs elevate
- tailbone comes off the ground
- neck “cranes” / cervical spine goes into extension
- head comes off the ground
- knees go into flexion to release the hammy stretch
- hips go into extension to release the hammy stretch
… then you have failed. Basically, if your position changes, you fail. Either get back into position immediately or rest until you are capable of regaining the good position.
Now, assuming you have good trunk position we need to challenge that. How we do that is by flexing your hips as much as you can with your tail bone on the ground while maintaining locked quads and dorsiflexed feet. Ethan’s feet are also “forward” relative to a standing position. If you are duck footed
may God have mercy on your soul you will need to actively internally rotate your legs from your hips.
Your ability to mobilize your trunk during the active hamstring stretch in “the home position” and in any subsequent progression of the Dead Bug will transfer over to your ability to mobilize your trunk in the primary lifts: Squat, deadlift, press, bench, and power clean.
Try it out. How long can you hold the home position of the Dead Bug without breaking?
Fun fact, when we refer to the trunk we refer to everything from your head to your hips. Some people call this a core but John Welbourn hates it when people refer to his mid-section as a “core”…
“Apples have cores. Don’t compare me to an apple.”
John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.
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